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NFL Free Wildcard Pick: Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis Betting Lines & Preview

Bengals vs Colts Free Pick

NFL Wildcard Round action sees the Cincinnati Bengals taking on the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, January 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Cappers Picks provides free *NFL*handicapping tips all season long.

Much maligned Andy Dalton will get a fourth crack at his first NFL Playoff win on Sunday when he and his Cincinnati Bengals travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts.

NFL Wildcard Round Betting Lines

Cincinnati (10-5-1) at Indianapolis (11-5)
When: 1:05 PM ET, Sunday, January 4, 2015
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Broadcast: CBS
Bengals NFL Betting Odds: +4 -110 +185
Colts NFL Betting Odds: -4 -110 -215
Wildcard Over/Under Betting Odds: 49
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The game is a rematch of a Week 7 game in which the Colts dominated and won 27-0. But things have changed for both clubs since that time – one team for the better and one team for the worse!

Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals will try for their first playoff win in 24 years on Sunday but enter off a 27-17 loss at Pittsburgh – a game that saw them lose an AFC North crown.

Cincinnati gets a crack at the team that handed them their worst loss of the season – 27-0 in a game that they gained just 136 yards of total offense – 32 from the running backs!

Things have changed for Cincinnati since that game – the running game has worked itself out and Jeremy Hill has established himself as one of the most dangerous threats in the game. Hill has run for 100+ yards five times in seven weeks with 140+ yards four times!

He had 395 yards on the ground in his last three games including 100 yards last week. Hill is the weapon that Cincinnati was lacking in the first meeting of the season – he alone could be the difference Sunday.

Hill’s emergence not only gives the Bengals a threat out of the backfield, it also ensures that the game won’t be on Andy Dalton’s shoulders – and that’s a good thing. Dalton is 0-3 with a 57 percent completion percentage and a 1:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his playoff career and finished the regular season with the 21st ranked passing numbers.

Dalton has been prone to game changing mistakes far too often as demonstrated by his 244 yard, 2 TD, 2 interception game last week.

Simply put, the less Dalton has to do the better off the Bengals will be.

Cincinnati’s defense has played better of late – much better than the unit that surrendered 506 yards to the Colts in Week 7. Carlos Dunlap has established himself as an elite pass rusher and the secondary has played much better as well.

The good news for this unit is that there will be no Ahmad Bradshaw this time around and that the Colts are largely a one-dimensional offense as we head into this week.

Colts

The Indianapolis Colts won 11 games for the third straight year but they look as shaky as any team that qualified for the playoffs. Indianapolis has zero running game after they lost Ahmad Bradshaw and the defense has been just OK against inferior competition down the stretch.

At least Indianapolis has Andrew Luck who again proved that he belongs in the elite class of QBs this year. He threw for 4,761 yards and 40 TDs this season and is the only reason that the Colts are where they are.

He has had some success against the Bengals – he went for 344 yards and two TDs in the first meeting of the season. Reggie Wayne’s hamstring could force him out of Sunday’s game however and TY Hilton is still battling a hamstring injury of his own.

The Colts will have to throw to be successful – they did run for 171 yards in the first meeting between the clubs but the rushing game has been stuck in the mud since. Trent Richardson is brutal and Dan Herron scares nobody.

It could be worse for Indianapolis however – relying on Andrew Luck isn’t such a bad thing.

The Indianapolis defense has been just OK lately but are dealing with injuries as we head into the playoffs. They have held their last three opponents under 10 points but that’s more of a reflection of the quality of competition, not the level of overall play.

The Bengals are a more balanced team than the one they saw in Week 7 – expect the Colts to have some issues with Cincinnati this time around.

NFL Wild Card Round Betting Trends

• Under is 6-2 in CIN last 8 games overall.
• IND are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 home games.
• IND are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 vs. AFC.
• IND are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 games overall.

The Colts are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 home games – one of those results coming against the Bengals. But this is a different Cincinnati team. Their reliance on the run against a banged up and questionable Indy run defense will be the difference in this one.

NFL Wild Card Round Betting Prediction

Expect Jeremy Hill to dominate, for Andrew Luck to have minimal time to operate and for the Bengals to pull one out here.

Cincinnati Bengals +4

The Colts are just too one-dimensional at this point of the season.

Check out our Updated NFL Wildcard Odds.



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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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